View Full Version : External Drives and proper formatting

Jul 28, 2004, 09:02 PM
OK, so I bought a Maxtor 200gig drive from Best Buy a few hours ago.

It came with a manual and a CD and all that crap which I kind of threw over there in the box and didn't mess with much. I just plugged it in.

So, there sits my 189 out of 200 gig (I guess 200 gig was the precooked weight) and I can dump stuff on it just fine, but every so often, it runs into a file it doesn't like, such as when a folder has a custom icon. The copy quits on it.

So, this is because it's formatted for a PC, right? And some of the files confuse the PC filesystem or something, with their extended character sets and such.

I suppose I could format it natively for the Mac, but then I couldn't go over to my PC buddy's houses and be able to use it, right?

So, my tradeoff is: be able to use with PCs, but loose being able to put custom icons on folders?

Is that pretty much it? Are there speed issues I should be scared of?

Jul 28, 2004, 10:33 PM
Interesting. I am just about to buy a LaCie 250gig and wonder at OSX/XP compatibility for cross system file transfers. Hopefully someone can help us...

Jul 29, 2004, 12:30 PM
well, so far, the most frustrating part is, i can't just grab a folder and drag it to the drive, because I inevitably have some file in there with a character in it that it doesn't like, and unbelievably, I can't just skip the problematic file - the same complaint I have with Windows XP when it comes across a single problem file during a copy of 1000 files.

Jul 29, 2004, 01:10 PM
I assume the file format of your drive is FAT32? I use MacDrive 5 to access my firewire Lacie HFS+ formatted partition on my windows 2000 or XP computer. Works with an iTunes library, Pro Tools, and general files. I haven't put it through its paces fully yet, but it seems promising. You have to format the drive on a mac first though.


They do offer student discounts and a 5-day trial FYI.

The only downside is hooking up to a PC that doesn't have macdrive on it. But it's better for me than waiting for a stable NTFS read/write driver to be written for OSX.

Also, if you want to repartition the drive in 2000/XP, you can only do a max of 32GB per partition. If you have a 9x computer, you can do larger, but MS put a lock on formatting FAT32 partitions to push the adoption of NTFS.

Jul 29, 2004, 01:15 PM
So, there sits my 189 out of 200 gig (I guess 200 gig was the precooked weight)

The reasoning behind this is that the drive size is (approximately) "2029,3720,4736" bytes. A kilobyte is 1024 bytes, a megabyte is 1024 kilobytes, etc. So once all the math is done with, the REAL size of a (this) 200GB disk is 189GB.

Sorry, this is no help to your problem. :(

Jul 29, 2004, 01:35 PM
well, I just wound up assuming I can't have folder icons. And, as far as backing up data goes, I decided just to use tar.gz's (or .zips) for backups. It's mildly cleaner, I guess. Still requires me to expand it out to get the backup out of it, but whatever.

Now that I type this, I bet I could make a big disk image (.dmg) for my mac-specific stuff, eh? What do you guys think about that?

Jul 29, 2004, 01:52 PM
jeez... let me guess - max file size on this kind of format is 4 gigabytes.

Jul 29, 2004, 02:54 PM
jeez... let me guess - max file size on this kind of format is 4 gigabytes.

Gotta love good 'ol file allocation tables. In their defense, hard drives were quite small when FAT32 was developed.

I'd be interested in how to open a DMG in windows though...

Jul 29, 2004, 03:01 PM
basically just want a drive that will extend the capacity of my 75gig powerbook drive, and have the added benefit that I could truck it over to my many PC friend's house and copy their stuff. (yes, that's right - you all do it too)

Jul 29, 2004, 06:12 PM
I have a Maxtor 200 GB drive in my external enclosure. I have used it without any problems or bugs. The only setup I did was to put it into my enclosure. No formatting or anything. Could there be some problem with the hardware/firmware of the enclosure you are using?

Jul 29, 2004, 06:35 PM
well, i'm sure it works fine if I format it for Mac-only duty, but that's not my intent.

Jul 30, 2004, 12:49 PM
I also purchased a Maxtor 200 GB external hard drive off Ebay. I just signed on to your discussion as I am looking for help. I have a Powerbook G4 and I plugged in the USB connection and the external HD icon showed up on the desktop. I renamed the HD to VW's HD. I don't know if that was my first mistake or not. I then copied a large number of jpeg files to the external HD successfully. I then began to copy an i-Movie file and when I saw it was going to be 63 minutes I cancelled the copy and was going to use the firewire hoping it would be quicker. I put the HD icon in the trash and changed to the firewire. When I did this, a window said the disk is unreadable and asked if I wanted to initialize it. I can't even get the icon to show up on the desktop now either. I really needed to be able to transfer files (jpeg and Powerpoint) between Mac and PC. I tried it on my Windows XP PC and it also stated it was unreadable. I checked under the Apple System profiler and it does recognize the device but I don't know what to do now??
I'm a somewhat "techie" teacher who knows just enough to be dangerous.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm kinda of sick as I have a huge i-Movie project that needs to have been completed yesterday.

Jul 30, 2004, 02:03 PM
I've encountered similar issues with an external FW Maxtor 80GB drive. I initially formatted it on a Win2K PC at work with the Maxtor disc utility and I ended up creating 2 x 32GB patitions and a 3rd that used up the remaining space (it then shows up as 3 volumes on my Mac).

I run into the same problems when copying files with the illegal windows filename characters (copy of multiple files stops when it hits the bad character in a single filename). I also see similar problems when moving other files, such as an iMovie project folder. I think it might be a resource/data fork issue.

Short of using the drive utilities mentioned above or compressing files I don't know of a good solution. When I was moving a large quantity of MP3 files from my home Mac machine to work PC I just ended up searching iTunes for the forbidden characters and changed them from within iTunes if they were part of the artist, album title, or song name. It was a bit of a pain but didn't take too long to locate them by simply entering the characters one by one in the iTunes search filed. (" * / : < > ? \ | ar the illeagl characters). Maybe there are better ways to deal with this issue, hope someone else has better suggestions.

Jul 30, 2004, 02:36 PM
Just came across this:


Looks promising and its free